News from the Gulf

In case you forgot about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Looking for Answers Five Years After the Gulf Oil Spill

Another project involves DEEPEND, which stands for Deep-Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico and focuses on deep oil and gas wells and their effects on marine life. It will key on the pelagic (open ocean) realm, from the surface to depths of over a mile, by far the largest ecosystem component of the Gulf.

Since the spill, more than 1,000 dead dolphins have washed ashore from Texas to Florida, about four times the normal rate.

In addition, the number of sea turtle nests has declined since the spill, 12 percent of the brown pelicans and 32 percent of the laughing gulls may have died as a result of the spill, and 2010-2011 had the lowest numbers of juvenile red snapper since 1994.  DEEPEND researchers want to know conclusively if the spill contributed to the large kills and declines.


Obama has planned some new regulations to mark the anniversary, at least.

Meanwhile, the chemicals BP is using to “clean up” the spill may be just as harmful as the oil: Chemical Capable of Injuring People and Wildlife.

Nearly five years after the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, a new study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that an oil dispersant widely used during the cleanup of the BP disaster is capable of causing damage to humans and marine animals alike.

In the study, published in PLOS ONE on April 2, scientists focused their attention on a dispersant called Corexit EC9500A.

Nearly two million gallons of Corexit were sprayed atop the oil spill to help break down the petroleum. But in their study, the UAB scientists found that the dispersant can seriously damage epithelial cells, such as those in the lungs of humans or the gills of marine animals.

This is our culture, folks.


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